Top Israeli official: “US administration at complete chaos”

Posted: July 11th, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: In the News, The Settlements, the US and us | Tags: , , , | Comments Off

cross-posted with FPW.

Israel Hayom, the free paper published by gambling billionaire Sheldon Adelson, quoted a “top Israeli official”, stating that:

The Americans are totally confused. Their foreign policy is collapsing. This chaos can be seen in almost any area where the administration is acting, in the diplomatic effort in our region, in the relations with Iran and in North Korea.

The paper adds that this view is shared by PM Benjamin Netanyahu’s office and the Israeli Foreign Office alike.

It should be noted that Israel Hoyom’s editorial line is known to be very supportive of Netanyahu, and the paper enjoys almost unlimited access to the PM’s people. Netanyahu’s own chief of staff, Nathan Eshel, has worked until the elections in Israel Hayom – so I believe the paper reflects the common view around the PM in saying that “the (American) administration is trying to form a regional plan – but has no idea how it is going to be done.”

What’s important here is not whether Israeli officials are right or not in thinking the administration lacks a coherent policy for the region (it’s too hard to tell at this point) – but rather the fact that the Israelis think so, and will probably behave accordingly.

In the last few weeks, it seems that the hostile atmosphere in Israel towards the new administration is playing into Netanyahu’s hands. At the moment his coalition is very stable, and it appears as though the PM believes he was able to contain the pressure from Washington. As long as the Palestinian Authority and the Hamas are not able to work some sort of a deal and form a united government, and while there is no serious peace initiative from the American side, the Israeli government will not grant the administration with any more concessions.

The talks between Israeli officials and the special envoy George Mitchell regarding the settlements go on and on – and can continue forever, for all the Israelis care. It the administration doesn’t want to lose the momentum from Obama’s speech in Cairo, it’s time to make the next move.

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